Dodgers Padres Game Two Preview
By Alex Campos
The Dodgers are in the middle of an embarrassing stretch of baseball and look to turn it around in game two against the Padres.
The Dodgers have lost five straight and now sit at 12-12. A .500 record for a team with this talent and payroll is pretty much unacceptable, and unsurprisingly people are upset. Fortunately, the rest of the division also looks like a dumpster fire so the Dodgers just need to snap out of this terrible spell.
A series with the Padres should help, and it did get Alex Wood back to looking like a legitimate rotation piece. He looked very good yesterday (as he usually does at home), and if he can keep that up the Dodgers’ rotation gets that much better. Unfortunately, the rest of the team looked less promising. Chris Hatcher is back to not throwing strikes (and when he does he serves it on a platter to the best hitter on the opposing team). He got unlucky with that comebacker off his leg that probably gets him out of the inning if it gets past him, but that’s baseball. More concerning than Hatcher is the offense, which followed up getting two-hit by a Marlins’ starter I had never heard of before Wednesday with another awful showing yesterday. It’s a terrible combination of horrible approaches at the plate (especially by the usually dependable Adrian Gonzalez, Justin Turner and Howie Kendrick) and bad BABIP luck. Throw that all together, and we have a sputtering team with a .500 record.
Today’s as good a day as any to turn the slump around, and Ross Stripling gets the ball. He’s obviously regressed from his nearly no-hit performance in San Francisco, but has still done a solid job considering he barely won the number five spot out of Spring. He’s done a good job keeping hitters off balance and keeping the ball in the ballpark, but hasn’t learned yet to pitch efficiently and hasn’t given the Dodgers many deep outings. He’s only gone nine innings in his last two outings combined, and with this long stretch of games a deep outing could go a long way.
Colin Rea gets the ball for the Padres and has pitched decently in his last three outings. Like Stripling, his main issue has been the inability to go deep in games, but Rea has allowed six runs in his last 17 innings (three starts), keeping the Padres in games. The rookie has allowed three runs in six innings against the Dodgers in the past (one start last season, one relief appearance this season).
Yasiel Puig, who is also in the middle of a mega slump, gets a day off today. Yasmani Grandal catches for the second straight day (he homered last night), and with Clayton Kershaw on the hill tomorrow A.J. Ellis will almost guaranteed be behind the plate.
First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 PST and will be shown on Sportsnet LA